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Q: Down Comforter ( Answered 1 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Down Comforter
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: rodamer-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 05 Apr 2004 09:00 PDT
Expires: 05 May 2004 09:00 PDT
Question ID: 325439
I purchased a down comforter on ebay and it has an odor.  Is there a
way to get rid of this odor?  Washing or airing out?
Subject: Re: Down Comforter
Answered By: nenna-ga on 05 Apr 2004 09:34 PDT
Rated:1 out of 5 stars
Dear rodamer,

There are several ways you could possible get the odor out of your down comforter. 

Doing a google search for "down comforter odor" brought up a number of links.


Such as this one on Down Comforter care
It states "Down may be dry-cleaned but it is quite expensive and you
can wash it yourself." and "When drying your bedding, put a clean
tennis shoe into the dryer to help fluff up the down and distribute it
well. Dry on low or hang your bedding out to dry on the clothesline,
it will add a fresh clean scent."

However, most of the other sites contradicted the dry cleaning method.

This site...

...states that laundering, as opposed to dry cleaning, which can leave
a chemical smell in the bedding is better.
"Q: How do I clean my comforter?   

We recommend using a professional cleaner who will launder (not dry
clean) and thoroughly dry your comforter.  It is O. K. to dry clean,
but this can leave a chemical odor.  We do not recommend that you wash
your comforter in your washing machine, especially if you have an
"agitator" type washing machine.  If a comforter should open while
being washed in your home, the down could cause your plumbing to clog
resulting in a flood of water in your home.  If there is not room in
your dryer for the comforter to move freely, it could actually cause a
fire from the fabric overheating.Whomever washes your comforter, keep
in mind that the cotton shell will shrink 3 to 5 percent after drying.
 After washing (or whenever storing), do not store it in plastic. 
Allow it to air."

This site reccomends something different as well
" We do not recommend dry cleaning or washing down, as both processes
affect the warmth and loft of the down.  If the comforter MUST be
washed,   Cuddledown's Fine Washing Liquid and Fluffers
work well to gently clean and reloft the down.

So there you have it. 3 methods, all saying they'll do the same thing.
Now it's just up to you. from personal experence though, If you really
like the comforter and want it to stay around a long time, in very
close to original condition, I would say take it to a professional
cleaners in your area, ask them what they think is best, professional
laundering or dry cleaning, and have someone who's done it
PROFESSIONALLY take on the responsibility of it. that way, if
something goes arwy, they most likely, and I would ask them first,
replace the value of the item.

I hope this helps and you end up with a fresh comforter.

Thanks for using Google answers.
Nenna- GA

Request for Answer Clarification by rodamer-ga on 06 Apr 2004 08:12 PDT
Everything you looked up, I also read.   I did do a search also, I
felt that the answers were for people with dirty or mildew smelling

Mine is brand new and smells like a dead animal.   I do not think the
down was cleaned properly before it was made.   I do not know wheather
this smell will ever come out.   I do not want to wash it as I may be
able to get a refund if I return it.

My question is if you buy a down comforter that was not put thru the
proper cleaning process does that odor ever come out.  I would like to
hear from someone who knows about down not someone doing a google
search that I am able to do.   Please do not answer unless you are a
down expert.

Clarification of Answer by nenna-ga on 06 Apr 2004 09:51 PDT
Hey rodamer,
Your $2.00 question was "I purchased a down comforter on ebay and it
has an odor.  Is there away to get rid of this odor?  Washing or
airing out?" I tried to explain the different ways of washing so that
you could decide which was best. You never specified what KIND of
odor, so I went with a general "bad smell" idea, now that you told me
what it is, I can tell you why you have that odor and reiterate my 1st
answer, which is still the way to get rid of it.

Maybe I wasn't clear. If you and I are reading the same links, as you
say, you would have read that
" The biggest difference between goose and duck down is odor. Goose
down has little to no odor. If it does not say goose down on the
label, It is most likely duck down and a lot less expensive. "
taken from :

and you would have read "In addition, being sealed in plastic
packaging sometimes causes the scent of these natural products to
concentrate to a disagreeable level. A few hours of airing usually
removes the odor."
taken from :

If it hasn't aired out in a day or 2, laundering is recomended. (You
can see those laundering types/comparisons in the 1st answer)

It has nothing to do with the "correct cleaning process". It has to do
with the fact that when you use an animals skin or feathers to make
something, it's probably, until it is laundered in any of the way's I
mentioned, or aired out (which does the trick sometimes, if it is a
light smell, which it seems like yours is not) it will have a
disagreeable smell

The cleanliness standard for down are laid out here
" There are acceptable government standards for the cleanliness of
feathers and down used in down comforters. This cleanliness is a
primary variable in determining the hypoallergenic nature of some down
comforters. Some comforter fills are washed as many as fifteen times
to get rid of dust, dirt and organic matter.

There are two "cleanliness" tests in the industry.
(a). A Oxygen test determines the amount of organic matter left in the
material being tested. The industry acceptable standard is 10. Better
products have lower numbers than that.
(b). Turbidity tests. Turbidity is a measure of suspended solids,
dust, dirt etc suspended in the comforters material. The scale goes
from about 60 (unwashed feathers) to 550 best."
Taken from :

So, they do try to keep the oder and dirt out, but, it is still an
animal. Also, if the person who had it before you had it stored
somewhere with a disagreeable oder, it's going to have to be laundered
to remove it. So, I'm sorry that you missed the info in your search
that stated about the "animal" smell that comes from some new down
comforters, more so with duck down than goose down. I hope this clears
it up for you.

rodamer-ga rated this answer:1 out of 5 stars
The researcher only did the same search that I did on google.  I was
hoping to hear from someone that had knowledge about down.

Subject: Re: Down Comforter
From: research_help-ga on 07 Apr 2004 09:06 PDT
It is important for a paid researcher to be courteous and
professional. In this case, nenna has clearly not lived up to that
expectation. Even if the rating was low, answering with the rude
beginning "Hey rodamer, Your $2.00 question was..." is in no way
Subject: Re: Down Comforter
From: nenna-ga on 07 Apr 2004 09:22 PDT
I'm sorry, I actually didn't mean to come off that way at all. I was
just trying make sure I cited the question and why the answer was not
horribly in-depth, but that it did answer all the things that it asked
for. My answer had nothing to do with my rating, it was just
clarification and I'm sorry if I gave that impression, it was not my
intent at all.


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